By Rebecca Drew
THIS YOUNG woman is embracing her EIGHTY-DEGREE ‘C’ curved spine after declining surgery to fix it even though doctors warned that it could eventually curve into her heart and KILL HER.
When fitness social media influencer and entrepreneur, Hayley Wakefield (25) from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, was just nine-years-old, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition where the spine grows in a curve. Hayley’s diagnosis was confirmed by doctors after her parents noticed that her hips were uneven.
Over the years, Hayley’s condition progressed with her curve reaching a 92-degree curve at one point. Doctors urged her family to go down the surgery route to try to correct her spinal curve and even told Hayley’s parents that if she didn’t go under the knife her spine would continue to curve into her heart which would result in death.
However, after researching her condition Hayley’s parents found that no one had died from scoliosis and that surgical treatment for severe curves were not always successful so decided to explore alternative treatments which include chiropractic care, stretches and exercises that develop strong muscle to support the spine.
Today Hayley stands by her family’s decision to shun medical treatment and her spinal curve is now around 75 to 80-degrees. She shares her scoliosis journey with her 83.9K Instagram followers and has even released an eBook packed full with tips and tricks to help others living with scoliosis.
“When I was diagnosed with scoliosis we had medical doctors tell my family and I that if I did not get the surgery my spine could curve into my heart and that I could die,” she said.
“We soon later discovered that no one had ever died from scoliosis. Sadly, in the traditional medical field they are not taught other methods of treatment and many believe that surgery is the only route.
“If you opt for the surgery they place metal rods all up and down your back. The more severe your scoliosis the less likely this surgery is to actually help. You will lack mobility and can experience even more stiffness and pain than before.
“Although surgery is successful for some there are so many risks involved and we saw and heard too many unsuccessful stories to believe that surgery was an actual solution.
“My family and I sought out to discover alternative forms of treatment including chiropractic care, stretches and exercises for scoliosis and most importantly, staying active and developing strong muscles to support the spine.
“I still stand behind the decision to practice alternative methods and to this day I live with very little pain.
“I was blessed enough to have my parents and grandparents who instilled in me that I was not disabled and I could do anything that anyone else could do.
“They raised me with confidence and never treated me as if I had a major problem. This helped me to see my scoliosis as just something I had, not who I was.
“Considering the severity of my curve I am fortunate enough to say I don’t feel it negatively affects me on a daily basis. I would say the toughest part for me are those days where I feel insecure about the way that it looks.
“I preach to my online followers the importance of confidence and owning whatever flaws we have, but of course being human I have days of insecurities as well.
“Now and again I will experience a little bit of pain or stiffness if I’m sitting too long or walking all day but overall I feel very blessed and feel the reason I am able to live virtually pain free is because of fitness.”
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists and curves to the side. It can affect people of any age but usually starts in children aged 10 to 15.
Through her holistic approach to her condition, Hayley has been able to decrease her curve slightly by implementing certain exercises that were designed for her by a chiropractor.
Having always instilled a positive attitude in her, Hayley’s family are so proud of how far she has come.
She shared her words of advice to others.
“It is an extremely slow process, but I have been able to decrease my curve by implementing certain exercises and stretching techniques that were designed for me and my curve by one of my chiropractors,” she said.
“Everyone’s case is totally different though and although I help people decrease pain and stiffness, I never guarantee I can help people decrease their curve.
“My ultimate goal is to look and feel as healthy as possible and help other people do the same.
“Don’t be defined by the cards you’ve been dealt. A problem is only as big as you make it. I took my situation and used it for good and hope to inspire and help as many people as possible.
“Everyone is dealing with something difficult in their life, so we can sit and feel sorry for ourselves or we can make the best of it and inspire others along the way.
“I take so much pride in my eBook and know that if people implement the tools inside they can greatly benefit their life. My goal is to get my eBook in as many people’s hands as possible.”